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You may think that a tropical garden in Britain is laughable ... Well, after you settle down from belly laughing, I can tell you it is not an impossible feat. 
Although a little more time consuming to master, considering the sensitivity to the environment, a tropical garden can be the most rewarding garden style that you could craft, whisking you away to a holiday sanctuary that will seem far, far away from good old blighty. 
The key to creating a really fabulous tropical garden is to combine richness of colour with a variety of texture that will conjure a peaceful and exotic garden mood. Structure is hugely important with plants requiring a densely packed planting scheme to achieve the overall look and feel of a tropical paradise.
Tropical plants that make you go 'Ooooooooh'
Canna Cannova Scarlet
Canna Cannova differentiates itself from its tropical counterparts, flowering early and flourishing in cooler climates, making it perfect for an English garden. 
I love the vibrancy and shape of these gorgeous blooms, bright red with hintws of orange - the epitome of the tropical colour palette
The piece de resistance is the decorative plumes of foliage, embellished in shades of green, purple and black highlighting the etchings of prominent veins.
Canna will delight in both containers and borders during the summer.


Colocasia esculenta Black Coral

An incredibly rare yet stunning evergreen perennial will certainly become a show-stopper in any tropical garden style, not only for its gorgeous structure and architectural framework but also for its divine and unique colour. 
Thick black stems act as a plinth for black glossy leaves that'll look just remarkable against brightly coloured perennials. 
Happy in containers. Prefers sun or partial shade in moist soil, so is perfect for planting near a pond.



Strelitzia reginae
One of my personal favourites!
It is quite remarkable just how magnificent this flower actually is from its structural shape to the merging of the vibrant colour from stem to tip. 
This variety is yet another exotic and highly prized variety that is naturally found growing on scrub land in South Africa.  
Believe it or not, these blooms can also make the most fantastic addition to a cut flower display - the perfect tropical specimen for your garden or bouquet!



Ensete Ventricosum Maurelii


Another gorgeous tropical foliage plant where large, lush leaves look more at home in a jungle than in your back garden, but hey ... why not!? 
This elaborate plant bears burgundy flushed, green leaves with prominent etched veins adorned on a bright red stem for additional interest. 
Clusters of cup-shaped flowers and banana-like fruits, (NOT EDIBLE UNFORTUNATELY) will flourish during the summer. If in a sheltered area, wrap your plants for protection from the cold or move them indoors after you have cut them back.



Hiding away, dormant, underground all summer, do not be surprised to see tall, sturdy stems emerge in October, hence the common name 'Surprise Lily', as they really will startle you when you least expect it. 
Up to eight spidery blooms with undulating petals are held in a circular cluster for several weeks before succulent, strap-shaped foliage emerges and stays green throughout the winter becoming dormant again mid-spring. 




Tropical gardens are densely planted together, with flowers often designed in layers. You will start off by creating an upper canopy of taller trees and palms that will create shade and protection for lower growing varieties, along with providing an eye-catching and architectural structure to your borders.
You will then need to create a middle layer which will be made up of colourful shrubs and tall, stately perennials in various textures and shades to really emphasis the flamboyancy and variation within this style of garden.
The lower layer will consist of low growing varieties such as impatiens or low growing perennials and ferns.

If you have a pond or are thinking about installing one, what could be better than listening to the sound of water whilst relaxing in your tropical garden paradise? Embellish your patio areas with vintage terracotta pots, further emphasizing the tropical ambiance.
Have I tempted you? Or just tempted you to book a holiday?
Both sound pretty good to me!
Have a wonderful weekend Haylofters!

becky@hayloftplants.co.uk



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